European banking boom online

Internet banking lightens dot-com gloom

Europe Internet users are warming to the idea of Internet banking, according to the latest figures from Jupiter MMXI.

The figures show that more than a third of European Internet users visited a financial site during November, particularly sites belonging to traditional and online banks.

According to the figures, in the UK 31 percent of surfers seek financial advice, trade shares, buy insurance and bank using the Internet. UK Internet users would not appear to be the most financially enthusiastic in Europe, however. Denmark leads the pack with 41 percent and Germany follows with 34 percent and France with 33.8 percent.

The report shows that Internet banks rank among some of the most popular destinations in all of these countries. "The popularity of finance sites and online banking shows that Europeans acknowledge the practical and time-saving benefits of the Internet," says Arielle Dinard, president of Jupiter MMXI, in a statement.

"Most banks recognise that they can offer additional value by giving their customers access to their accounts via the Internet."

However, Internet banks could encourage visitors to use their accounts more frequently by improving the quality of their services, says Jupiter MMXI analyst Nick Jones. "To encourage account holders to be active account users, many banks still need to make the use of their online services simpler and must add tools and content on their Web sites that help customers manage their money," he says.

This study suggests that despite encouraging adoption, security remains a priority for those banking online. A study carried out by the Smith Group in November 2000 indicated that 69 percent of all UK consumers think online banks are not as secure as conventional banks.

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